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In today's Morning Brief:

Member states call for Horizon Europe to go full steam ahead

Member states say a newly found consensus on third country access to sensitive research projects means the European Commission should now go ahead and publish the Horizon Europe work programme detailing calls for proposals, deadlines and budgets for the next two years. Stakeholders hope the agreement will end months of uncertainties around international participation in sensitive R&D projects in Horizon Europe, the €95.5 billion R&D programme. The agreement also paves the way for the full launch of the programme next week, nearly six months after it was due to get underway. But some are not rushing to draw the same conclusions from the negotiations last week. The Commission has yet to confirm the agreement. Read more on Science|Business.


Open Call: The EIC launches the Overseas Trade Fairs Programme 2.0

With the EIC Overseas Trade Fairs 2.0 Programme (OTF 2.0), EIC beneficiaries will receive pivotal support to promote their commercialisation strategy at international level and showcase, from January 2022 on, their innovative products and services at 15 international trade fairs around the world.

 On 17 June, at 10 CEST, the Overseas Trade Fairs 2.0 Programme and its first two calls (CES Las Vegas 2022 and Arab Health 2022) will be officially launched by Jean-Eric Paquet, Director-General of DG Research and Innovation. The launch event will serve as a first introduction to the OTF 2.0 Programme; why should you join? What are the benefits stemming from your participation? How can OTF 2.0 help you grow your business globally? All these questions and many more will be answered during this session. Register here.


International IP Enforcement Summit 2021

The 4th International Intellectual Property Enforcement Summit will bring together key European and international decision makers, enforcement agencies, multinational companies and other relevant players to discuss ways to improve protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR) in the EU and around the globe.

Organised by the European Commission, the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the Swedish IP Office (PRV), the conference will take place on 22 and 23 June. It will aim to bring strategic and practical guidance and share good practice on how the fight against counterfeiting and piracy should contribute to a healthier society, a more sustainable environment and a stronger economy. Programme and registration are available here.


EIB supports IE University in Spain with a financing plan of up to €30 million

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has approved a financing plan of up to €30 million for IE University, an educational institution recognised across Europe with students of 140 nationalities on its Madrid and Segovia campuses. The EIB financing, supported by a guarantee from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, amounts to €15 million in an initial tranche, which could be extended by another tranche for the same amount in 2022.

Investments financed by the EIB include upgrading state-of-the-art equipment to boost the digitalisation of the institution. IE University will expand the liquid learning methodology that enables students to attend class in-person or online with the same immersive and academic experience. The EIB financing, subscribed with Instituto de Empresa, an educational group to which IE University belongs, will facilitate the design of academic materials, data management and analysis, and the use of new technological tools applied to education. Read more here.


ESFRI: the coronavirus pandemic changed research infrastructures

Big research labs are set to make a permanent feature of ‘needs must’ operational changes forced on them by the COVID-19 pandemic, as they take stock of lessons learned over the past year. Jan Hrušák, chair the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) expects big labs will fine tune remote access schemes and allow more researchers to send in samples for those projects that do not require their physical presence in the lab.

In the face of the pandemic, research labs fast-tracked access for urgent health projects and had to put many other experiments on hold. Labs around Europe closed their doors as travel restrictions and lockdowns hit, and had to invent new ways of carrying out essential work safely. Now, in recognition that these new ways of working give the research infrastructures themselves and geographically spread scientists that rely on their resources, more flexibility, these new methods could be extended beyond the pandemic. Read more on Science|Business.


Intel answers EU call to scale up European capacity for semiconductor chips

Intel, the world’s largest manufacturer of semiconductor chips, will open a foundry plant for cutting-edge semiconductors in Europe in a bid to diversify its global supply chain. The announcement, made in March, is a welcome boost to the EU’s ambition to raise its semiconductor production. Thierry Breton, the EU’s Internal Market Commissioner, directly mentioned Intel last month as one of the global chipmakers the EU wants to attract in Europe. The invitation is part of the EU’s updated industrial strategy, which sees semiconductor technologies as an area of key vulnerability for Europe’s strategic interests.

Europe’s share of the world’s production of computer chips is a mere 6% as production has been relocated elsewhere. Asia holds as much as 80% of the world’s semiconductor manufacturing capacity. A global shortage of computer chips is exacerbating this dependence on foreign producers, as the COVID pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and also increased the demand for electronic devices. The foundry plant will allow EU companies to produce their chips in Europe based on their own tailor-made design. At the moment, most of the production of chips for European producers takes place in Taiwan or South Korea. Read more on Euractiv.


Analysis: EU will fall short of meeting 2030 digital targets

An analysis of 12 recovery plans submitted by European Union member states seen by EURACTIV ahead of publication indicates that the investment proposed will see the bloc falling radically short of the digital targets it has set itself for the end of the decade.

The analysis, conducted by Deloitte and set to be published on 21 June, focuses on the recovery plans of 12 member states submitted to the European Commission in order to unlock funds from the EU’s historic post-pandemic recovery fund. The study looks at to what extent the proposed investments would be sufficient to meet the ambitious Digital Decade targets laid down in the Digital Compass 2030 presented by the Commission in May. It concludes that only the provision of online public services is currently on track to meet the 2030 targets. The other targets are not expected to be met at the current conditions.

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23/9/2021: EU Partnerships update, HUB workshop on AI & Robotics, ERA Pact for R&I, Green Deal Series events & other relevant EU R&I news bytes

In today’s Morning Brief:
– European Partnerships – Update on the Legislative Process
– HUB workshop on PPP AI & Robotics
– ERA Pact for R&I – next steps
– Various Running ERA Studies of Interest
– MEPs against inclusion of ‘do no significant harm’ principle in Horizon Europe
– UK sets out ‘pro-innovation’ AI rules, in further move away from Brussels
– Europeans strongly support science and technology according to new Eurobarometer survey
– Agriculture: Launch of an annual EU organic day
– More on the State of the Union address
– Pathways to the future – A follow-up to “Universities without walls – A vision for 2030”
– Fraunhofer organises Green Deal Series: “Offshore Wind as a cornerstone of the European Green Deal” on 12 October 2021

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21/9/2021: Reform of the Research Assessment System, CH to fund ERC proposals, Open Access, Quantum investments, new U-Multirank HE cooperation index

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Reform of the Research Assessment System
– Switzerland will temporarily fund ERC proposals with own funds
– Monitoring the open access policy of Horizon 2020
– UK starts construction of new £93 million quantum computing centre
– New ERC President, Maria Leptin, to take over on 1st November
– U-Multirank creates new ‘Higher Education Cooperation Index’
– 2022: Year of Youth and ERASMUS as a tool to promote European Education Area

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20/9/2021: Work as an Expert, State of the Union address – key R&I issues, Tech and Strategic Autonomy, European Health Union, New EU Bauhaus, Meat Atlas, Elections that will define the Future of Europe

In today’s Morning Brief:
– Work as an expert – European Defence Fund
– State of the Union address by the President of the EC: key takeaways for R&I
– Technology sovereignty in practice: EC pushes chip building and cyberdefence
– Shaping and securing the EU’s Open Strategic Autonomy by 2040 and beyond
– European Health Union and the new HERA (European Health Emergency preparedness and Response Authority)
– €85M investment in 2022 for New European Bauhaus project
– Meat Atlas: facts and figures about the animals we eat
– The elections that will define the future of Europe and the EU PermReps dancing chairs

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